Greene County was talking about Muriel Foster's stepson. People had always talked, always kept one eye on the Foster house like they were waiting for a bad seed to bear what they knew it would. So far Dan's boy, Paul, had been quiet, good in school, but it was like he was too good—they couldn't quite put a finger on it, but it wasn't natural. Creative, they had murmured, and not the good kind, when in third grade the boy had shown up at the K-Mart looking like Mary Magdelene, a blue blanket draped around his face. It marked him further that he was smaller than the other boys, with a fragile look, that by high school his inquisitive eyes hadn't gone dead like a normal teenager's but instead shadowed with the sort of sidelong cunning that made other boys want to shove him against lockers for walking by.